Adding art to illegal billboards
Jordan Seiler’s incrediblely ambitious “New York Street Advertising Takeover” became a reality yesterday, when over 120 illegal billboards throughout the city were white washed by dozens of volunteers.
NYSAT was organized as a reaction to the hundreds of billboards that are not registered with the city, and therefore are illegal. While illegal, these violations are not being prosecuted by the City of New York, allowing the billboard companies to garner huge profits by cluttering our outdoor space with intrusive and ugly ads.
After the illegal spots were white washed, late in the day yesterday over eighty artists transformed these spaces into personal pieces of art.
Here’s some of the initial photos that are coming in.
Wooster Collective: “New York Street Advertising Takeover” Brings Art to Over 120 Illegal Billboards in NYC
Graffiti low priority in San Francisco, some graffiti legal in Brazil
Brazil has legalized certain types of graffiti (plus it’s even being taught in schools):
Last week a law was passed in Brazil legalizing graffiti. But this doesn’t mean exactly what you may think. In Brazil, “graffiti” (grafite in Portuguese) refers not so much to the entire hip hop tradition of writing, but more specifically to colorful pieces, characters, abstractions, and other painted street art. In everyday speech, it’s often contrasted against pichação, which is Brazil’s home-grown style of tagging, so named because its first practicioners used tar (piche) stolen from construction sites. The semantic distinction echoes a sentiment I often hear here in the US: “I like the artistic stuff, but not, you know, those ugly scribbles.”
This distinction is part of what’s being put into law. What’s interesting about this law is that it appears to recognize the artistic and cultural value of the graffiti itself, not just the monetary value of the property it’s painted on. How will this play out in practice, I wonder?
Full Story: Public Ad Campaign
Meanwhile, San Francisco has made it a low priority.
(Both links via Tomorrow Museum)
It’s open source, and you can build it yourself.